Goodness! Yesterday’s piece seems stuffy with wordiness! It comes with trying to express the inexpressible.
Let me translate. We followers of Jesus often fall into the trap of treating him as a remote figure who lived long ago and we have to reach over a huge 2000 year gap to access him. We often talk about him in the past tense. Fair enough – he occupied a place in history, living amongst his own people and inspiring a movement that flourishes to this very day.
But that’s not all – by a long shot!
We speak of the Christ – not a name, but a title. It is the Greek translation and development of the ancient Hebrew concept of Messiah – in effect, the anointed tying together of all things that are, have been and will be. It is universal, embracing all that is. Paul wrote about it a lot in the New Testament.
The early followers of Jesus invested him with this title and experienced it in his life, death, resurrection and infusion with his Spirit. Hence, we speak of Jesus the Christ (shortened to Jesus Christ). This brings the Jesus of history into the always present moment, “marinading” us in his presence. In ancient terms, we are “Christed.”
We speak it, but our understanding falls short. Then someone switches on a light, and we know it again, as if for the first time.
Here is one simple trick to increase understanding:
Try reading and meditating on John’s Gospel using the present tense!
(Thanks Alexander Shaia!)
We are continuously on the path of conversion.